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LASER solicits donations to fix hurricane-damaged home

RELEASE DATE: February 12, 2009

MONTVERDELake And Sumter Emergency Recovery (LASER) is asking the community to donate building materials to repair a manufactured home in the Montverde area that was damaged during the 2004 hurricanes but wasn’t repaired correctly.

According to Michael Tart, Executive Director of LASER, the home received a new roof after suffering hurricane damage, but the roof was installed improperly causing thousands of dollars in mold damage. To exasperate the problem, the homeowner has suffered through several illnesses while the home fell further toward disrepair, he said.

“What LASER desperately needs is building materials,” Tart said. “LASER has paid for a new roof and has skilled volunteers in the process of removing the rotten and moldy insulation and gutting the interior of the home, but what we discovered when we removed the old roof was it had extensive water damage to the insulation, drywall and other components of the home.”

In addition to structural damage, furniture in the home will likely have to be replaced due to mold damage. LASER estimates the total cost of the project between $35,000 and $50,000.

“We need to get this family back on track, and, unfortunately, the quickest solution at this juncture is to solicit donations from the community,” Tart added.

The Lake County Board of County Commissioners created LASER shortly after the devastating effects of the 2004 hurricanes. As a registered 501c3, not-for-profit organization, LASER’s mission is to strengthen recovery efforts from any disaster in Lake and Sumter counties. LASER conducts these operations through a coordinated communitywide approach, which provides for the immediate and long-term unmet needs of local citizens. In addition, as a not-for-profit organization, LASER has the ability to accept private and public donations to fulfill unmet needs of residents.

Since its inception, LASER has assisted more than 100 cases from the Groundhog Day tornadoes, as well as 75 cases from the Eustis tornado on Sept. 21, 2007, and five from the hurricanes in 2004. LASER is also in the process of assisting survivors from Tropical Storm Fay, which impacted Lake County on Aug. 21, 2008. The agency has more than 66 cases to address from Tropical Storm Fay.

For more information about LASER, call (352) 483-1029 or log on to www.laserfl.com. Donations to LASER can be made through the Web site or by sending a check to: Lake And Sumter Emergency Recovery, Inc. (LASER) 27 E. Pinehurst Blvd. Suite B, Eustis, FL 32726.

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klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov

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